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Economists split on rates call

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Cape Town - The SA Reserve Bank (SARB) will probably raise interest rates in anticipation of a likely US interest rate lift-off in December, economists said ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee's decision on rates later on Thursday.

Nedbank's economic unit said the SARB may feel more justified now to raise rates than in July as the inflation outlook has deteriorated somewhat due to the weaker rand and higher food prices.

Stats SA announced on Wednesday that annual consumer inflation increased to 4.7% in October from 4.6% in September, mostly in line with market expectations. On a monthly basis prices increased by 0.3% as a result of, among others, contributions of 0.1 percentage points each by the food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as the transport categories.

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